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00000173-38e2-d855-adf7-bcef38580000Presidential hopefuls need to clear all kinds of hurdles. Some are unique to politics, but one is familiar to every Iowan: getting our state's place-names right. While some of them (like Atlantic) are clear from the spelling, others trip "newbies" up. Louisa County? Not like my cousin's first name. Madrid? Not like the city in Spain. Nevada? Not like that state out west. You can’t take anything for granted.But you're not on your own - Iowa Public Radio has you covered. Below is our handy audio guide to pronouncing Iowa place names. How did these pronunciations gain their current forms? Long story, which we'll get to another time, but meanwhile, scroll down for the list.NOTE: Thanks to digital technology, we can update the entries anytime. Let us know if you have any corrections or suggestions - we could even post YOUR voice up here!UPDATE: Dec. 6: the following are in process, thanks to your input:Avon LakeBode [e is silent, one syllable]CarlisleCorydonCummingGiardGoodell [guh-DELL?]Hawarden [HAY-warden]Jesup [JESS-up]kilbourn [KILL-burn?]Kiron [KEYE-ruhn]Knoke [kuh-NOKE]LamoilleLycurgus [lih-SIR-jus]MauriceMoingonaOrillaOthoProle [Silent e]ProtivinPulaski [pyoo-LASS-kee?]Swea City [Sway]TaraValeriaVenturaZanetaZenorsville

Iowa Place Names: U - Z

-U-       -V-       -W-       -X-       -Y-       -Z-


Vining: VINE – ing


Viola: VAI-oh-luh (first syllable gets the accent and rhymes with "eye")

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Wapello: WAAH–puh-lo


Wapsipinicon: wahp-si-PIN-ih-con [final syllable is often a "schwa"]


Wever: WEE-ver (like "Weaver")


What Cheer: I have heard four variants from current residents in September, 2015: 1) whuh-cheer (no "t" sound, syllables connected); 2) What Cheer (WITH the "t" sound, as in the ordinary pronunciation); (3) Wah- cheer (first syllable almost like "wha-wha"), 4) WAT cheer

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Barney Sherman is a Senior Music Producer and Classical Music Host